25 Things To Take on a Backpacking / Trekking Trip

Sumit Gupta

General Equipment

  • Sleepingbag
  • Carrimat (or equivallent) (Editor’s Note: mattress)
  • Waterbottle (5-6 liters of bottles)
  • Backpack (big enough for all the stuff)
  • Good hiking shoes (no blisters)
  • Plastic to drape over back-pack
  • Ropes
  • Carbiners, harness if possible
  • Tents – 3 person are ideal. with rain cover and wind resistant
  • Waterpurifying stuff – really important – carry extra filter
  • Small flashlight (not necessary, but might be useful if you have to read the map during night)
  • Topographical Map
  • Compass – get one with a scale on it
  • Sewing kit
  • Shovel for morning nature walks
  • Booze in a plastic bottle

Personal Accesories

  • Film
  • Swiss knife
  • Sun Block
  • Toothbrush
  • No shaving kit, comb
  • Bio-degradable Soap, no shampoo
  • TP – also, enough for blowing nose incase of cold etc
  • Sanitary Towels or extra TP
  • Wet wipes for freshening up

Cooking Gear

  • Utensils – Plate, spoon, fork, cup
  • Plate should actually be a bowl
  • Pots, Pans
  • Utensil cleansing liquid (very little)
  • Scrubber although sand does just as well
  • Cooking gear – stoves
  • Fuel for stoves – roughly 1/2 gallon for 10 people for 3 nights ie for 2 people for 1 night 0.03 gallons (=4 oz)
  • Matches / lighter – an inflammable stick/candle to light stoves


  • Shirt, T-shirt
  • Shorts
  • Raingear (jacket + trousers)
  • Wool socks
  • Trousers, Jeans – incase of sharp bush, shrubbery
  • Warm Cap
  • Socks (preferrably of wool, NOT cotton)
  • Gloves
  • Underwear
  • Warm jacket / shirt (preferrably not cotton)
  • Thermal underwear (if cotton, leave at home)
  • Swim gear – or swim in undies


Food ->>>per person per day<<<- (by Barbara Wegmann)

100g Munchy Bag – nuts, raisins,dried fruits -no chocolate,it melts
Candy – life savers
Granola bars
1 Bagel
80g Oatmeal mixture with nuts and high-energy stuff
2dl Powdered Milk
50g Brown Sugar
Cream cheese (1 package per 10 Pers. per 2 days)
Peanut butter
5-6 sl. Bread
1/2 can Canned meat, sausage, cheese, spam
160 g Rice (add dried mushrooms, pies, corn, meat cuts, parmesan, cream)
or 200g Spaghetti (add pesto, parmesan)
Hot Cocoa, Tea – with spicing 🙂
Tang or someother high-energy drink powder (like glucose)

In general, cheddar and chack cheese is only good for the first days. Parmesan cheese can stand high temperatures much better.

First Aid Kit & Medicines

The following has been compiled by a lay person. It has NOT been compiled by a doctor and is in no way is a comprehensive list of things that may be required while backpacking. This is just the minimum things that may be required in a first aid kit. Please use your best judgement or talk to a medical professional


Algiflor Painkiller, stops inflamation, lowers fever
Influene N Painkiller, Headache
Merfenacid 500,
Ponstan 500
Painkiller, heavy, stops inflamation, lowers fever (max 3 a day)
Imodium Diarrhoea
Comba grip Influenza, flu
Magnesium Muscle cramps
Perskindol Massage oil for muscles and joints
Voltaren Spraining, bruises
Euceta Cooling gel, joints, sunburns, inscect bites, footsore, skin irritation
Parapic Anti Insect spray
Camomille Stomach problems, soar throat, tincture
Vicks Vapo Rub colds, ointment for chest and nose
Tiger Balm Muscles, joints, colds
Iodine Tincture Antiseptic for cuts and bruises
Bepanthen plus
Triple Antibiotic
ointment, anti-infectant


Miscellaneous Stuff

Cough drops, syrup
Anti-histamine (for allergies)
Blood lancets
Rolled gaze
Telfa Pad
Clinical Thermometer
Glucose – important – each person must have about 1 tablet per day
For blisters, get the tape – also, tape in advance as a precaution

Again, note that this is just a minimum list and not compiled by a doctor. Please use your best judgement.

Now in detail !!: (By Gosta)

The list below is not intended as some kind of universal truth, if you disagree with something do different! However, if you haven’t been to many trips like this before and don’t know exactly what to bring, follow it as closely as you can and you will have everything you need.

Try to keep your backpack as light as possible. Some things on the list can be avoided by using combinations of other things. If you for example have a fancy pair of gore-tex trousers and a nice pair of thermal underwear you don’t really need the trousers.

Pack all the stuff in plastic bags before putting them in the backpack. This will keep it dry through even heavy rain. Be aware of that very few backpacks are waterproof and even if the fabric is they usually leak at the seems.

Gear for 4 nights of Backpacking

  • 2 Shirts Preferrably not made of cotton, and preferrably with possibility to open up at the top for ventilating, but any shirt will do.
  • 1 pair of Trousers: comfortable and made of a material that dries reasonably fast. Jeans are not ideal but will do if don’t have anything better.
  • Shorts: optional, but nice if it gets warm.
  • Rain Gear: jacket + trousers, they should be waterproof any tough enough to withstand sustained use.
  • Sleepingbag: Needs to keep you warm down to 20 degrees farenheit ( -5 degrees celsius)
  • Sleeping matress: Carrimat, thermarest or equivalent. Should be at least 12mm (1/2 inch) thick, the ground will be cold. Two thin ones are actually better than one thick.
  • Waterbottle: A bottle with a wide opening is better, but an old plastic coke bottle will do as well. At least 1 liter.
  • Backpack: Big enough for all the stuff, make sure that it fits comfortably. Remember to leave room for the shared equipment (tents, stoves, food etc)
  • Good hiking shoes: The more waterproof the better. Should give good support for your wrists. Use them a few times a week until the trip to make your feet get used to them. This will heavily reduce you’re chance of getting blisters.
  • Socks (thick ones): preferrably of wool, synthetic materials ok, NOT cotton. Bring at least 3 pairs. More if you have less than ideal shoes.
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves
  • Underwear — as few as you dare!
  • Warm shirt. Preferrably not cotton. This is for use while standing still, not while walking.
  • Thermal underwear: Not absolutely necessary, but very nice when it gets cold. If you don’t have any bring a pair of thights (if cotton, leave at home)
  • Small flashlight (optional): not necessary, but might be useful if you have to read the map during night
  • Toilet Paper: 1 roll
  • Sanitary Towels: as many as you want to carry
  • Toothbrush
  • Matches / lighter
  • Eatingstuff (fork, plates etc): A plastic plate, a plastic mug and a spoon should do, fork and a knife might be nice tough.
  • Swiss army knife or equivallent. Not absolutely necessary but very useful when cooking etc.
  • General equipment that the group will bring:

A few words about materials

Most clothes are made out of one of the following materials, they all have their pros and cons.

Cotton Cotton sucks, literally. When cotton gets wet(when you sweat) it gets sticky and chills you of very effectively. Avoid if possible to bring stuff made of cotton.
Wool Wool has a very nice feature, it keeps you warm even when it gets wet!. Of course not as good as when it’s dry, but at least it does not chill you down as cotton does. For sock, wool is by far the best. It will keep you warmer and give you fever blisters than other materials
Synthetic There are a many different kinds of synthetic fibers used in clothes. There main advantage is that they don’t absorb any water. Since they don’t absorb any water they won’t get wet and chill you down. Thermal underwear is best made out of synthetic stuff (or silk).

Disclaimer : The material presented in these pages reflect the author’s opinion and in NO way is a comprehensive list of things that may be required while backpacking. This is just the minimum things that may be required to be used as a guide to plan a trip.

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